Nighttime heat

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Hi, I have a 1.5 y/o leopard tortoise and no matter how hard I try to trap heat in his enclosure I can’t seem to get his enclosure warm enough at night. I live in a colder state and cannot keep him outside and when it gets cold out there is a draft that I can’t control. His enclosure is basically completely sealed except for the area where his daytime lights go. What should I do to trap/ create more heat at night? Should I get another dome with a darker colored light for nighttime?
 

Blackdog1714

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Are you using a lamp for heat and light together? The heat should come from a CHE so the heat can be on as needed anytime of day. Also pics of setups and what type of bulbs you use are important for use to better help
 

Tom

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Hi, I have a 1.5 y/o leopard tortoise and no matter how hard I try to trap heat in his enclosure I can’t seem to get his enclosure warm enough at night. I live in a colder state and cannot keep him outside and when it gets cold out there is a draft that I can’t control. His enclosure is basically completely sealed except for the area where his daytime lights go. What should I do to trap/ create more heat at night? Should I get another dome with a darker colored light for nighttime?
Make or buy a large closed chamber with the lights inside. Solves this problem and makes life easy.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings. What @Tom said. Once you build a fully enclosed chamber - it all gets easier. It’s easier to maintain both heat & humidity. Get a nice wet to damp substrate, set your CHE and/or RHP on a thermostat and dial it all in to get a contained environment. It’s all very easy once u put a lid on it!
 
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Greetings. What @Tom said. Once you build a fully enclosed chamber - it all gets easier. It’s easier to maintain both heat & humidity. Get a nice wet to damp substrate, set your CHE and/or RHP on a thermostat and dial it all in to get a contained environment. It’s all very easy once u put a lid on it!
Thanks for the advice! I just did some research on CHE bulbs and I’m going to go out and get one, what brand/wattage would you recommend?
 

KarenSoCal

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Brand doesn't matter. You just need to pick from whatever the store carries. ZooMed products are good if they have them.

Wattage will be determined by your thermometer in the enclosure. As long as it is open top, you'll need a higher wattage. I would try a 100 watt first, and adjust as necessary. When you put a lid on it, lower the wattage...try a 75w and again, raise or lower as needed.

Don't forget...CHE's need to go into ceramic sockets. They melt plastic. And you need a thermostat to control it. Set the thermostat to 80°F.
 
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Brand doesn't matter. You just need to pick from whatever the store carries. ZooMed products are good if they have them.

Wattage will be determined by your thermometer in the enclosure. As long as it is open top, you'll need a higher wattage. I would try a 100 watt first, and adjust as necessary. When you put a lid on it, lower the wattage...try a 75w and again, raise or lower as needed.

Don't forget...CHE's need to go into ceramic sockets. They melt plastic. And you need a thermostat to control it. Set the thermostat to 80°F.
Ok, so should I replace my basking bulb with CHE? How does the thermostat connect to the bulb? Sorry for all of the questions I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing :)
 

KarenSoCal

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Ok, so should I replace my basking bulb with CHE? How does the thermostat connect to the bulb? Sorry for all of the questions I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing :)
No, they are separate. The basking bulb will be on in the daytime, and the CHE will probably only be on at night.

The basking bulb can be put on a timer. On 12 hours/off 12 hours.

The CHE gets plugged into the thermostat, and the thermostat into the wall. Set the thermostat for 80°F. The thermostat will only turn the CHE on when the temp drops below 80°. It will raise the ambient temp a few degrees, then shut off. When the temp drops to 80° again, it turns on. Just like your house thermostat in winter.
 
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No, they are separate. The basking bulb will be on in the daytime, and the CHE will probably only be on at night.

The basking bulb can be put on a timer. On 12 hours/off 12 hours.

The CHE gets plugged into the thermostat, and the thermostat into the wall. Set the thermostat for 80°F. The thermostat will only turn the CHE on when the temp drops below 80°. It will raise the ambient temp a few degrees, then shut off. When the temp drops to 80° again, it turns on. Just like your house thermostat in winter.
Ok, right now I have a light dome that has my uvb and basking on a timer, Would you recommend a strip UVB bulb instead of a light bulb shaped one? Can I swtch to a strip UVB and then put both CHE and basking together Or should I purchase a separate dome for the CHE? Thank you so much for all of your help!
 

KarenSoCal

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Yes, you should get a strip UVB and fixture. You want a T5 HO tube, like this. You'll have to hunt for one since they're out of stock. Your local pet stores will probably not carry them.


Does the double dome have a cord for each dome? If so, you might be able to put the basking in one and the CHE in the other.

If there's only one cord, you will need to get another dome for one of them. They are controlled by two different units. The basking should be on a timer 12 hours on/12 hours off. The CHE needs to be on a thermostat set to 80°F, so your temp in the enclosure never falls below 80°.

Your UVB only needs to be on for 3 hours. Maybe 10AM-1PM. Or 11AM-2PM. You can't have it on the same timer as the basking.
 
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Yes, you should get a strip UVB and fixture. You want a T5 HO tube, like this. You'll have to hunt for one since they're out of stock. Your local pet stores will probably not carry them.


Does the double dome have a cord for each dome? If so, you might be able to put the basking in one and the CHE in the other.

If there's only one cord, you will need to get another dome for one of them. They are controlled by two different units. The basking should be on a timer 12 hours on/12 hours off. The CHE needs to be on a thermostat set to 80°F, so your temp in the enclosure never falls below 80°.

Your UVB only needs to be on for 3 hours. Maybe 10AM-1PM. Or 11AM-2PM. You can't have it on the same timer as the basking.
Yes, the double dome does have 2 separate cords. Thanks for the info, you have been a great help :) do you have a thermostat you recommend, or is it just whatever I can find?
 

William Lee Kohler

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Brand doesn't matter. You just need to pick from whatever the store carries. ZooMed products are good if they have them.

Wattage will be determined by your thermometer in the enclosure. As long as it is open top, you'll need a higher wattage. I would try a 100 watt first, and adjust as necessary. When you put a lid on it, lower the wattage...try a 75w and again, raise or lower as needed.

Don't forget...CHE's need to go into ceramic sockets. They melt plastic. And you need a thermostat to control it. Set the thermostat to 80°F.
HOWEVER it should never be so close to the tortoises back that it can get overheated. Maybe 10-12" from the substrate at the minumum. A little higher is better and placed so it keeps the whole enclosure at or above the tortoises minimum needs at floor level. And DON"T use a clamp lamp! Hang your lamp by something that will not allow it to fall.
 
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Just an update: Thank you to everyone who helped me, I ordered everything I needed ( even though it cost a ton🤣), it’s more than worth it for Keith! Thanks again for all of your help!
 

KarenSoCal

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Just an update: Thank you to everyone who helped me, I ordered everything I needed ( even though it cost a ton🤣), it’s more than worth it for Keith! Thanks again for all of your help!
It's very gratifying to give advice to a new keeper and that keeper acts on the suggestions given. All too often newbies want to argue every idea we present.

In a short time, if you stick around, you'll be able to help someone out. 🤓
 
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